Around 43 structures were demolished on the Agonda-Dhavalkhjaan beach stretch. The demolition began on Wednesday and continued till Thursday evening. These structures were said to be in violation of the Coastal Regulation Zone norm and out of the 47 owners, four had obtained a stay order from the Court.

The structures were set up in private properties bordering the beach area and some had used cement as a plinth. Plus the use of low-density beach lights with shades, the stacking and use of beach beds, low and high volume loudspeakers had tightened the case against these illegal structures. Constructions of 43 owners were demolished under heavy police protection.

A deadline of one month was given to the owners in order to dismantle their structures and this deadline came to an end on October 16. This order was given by the Canacona deputy collector Vikas Kambli.

A magisterial team, consisting of deputy collector Rohit Kadam, who holds the additional charge of Canacona SDO, Canacona mamlatdar Raghuraj Phaldesai, joint mamlatdar, GCZMA officials, was present.

Police led by police inspectors of Canacona, Quepem, Curchorem, PSIs of different police stations were also present to maintain law and order during the mass demolition drive. 

After completion of the drive, the South Goa District Collector will submit a report to the National Green Tribunal (NGT) by November 9.

According to sources, the high court had given the owners plenty of time to file their replies. But sadly the owners of these illegal structures did not heed the warnings of the court and had to pay for their mistakes. This move has spelled doom for the tourism stakeholders in Agonda.

Agonda tourism stakeholders are tensed following the demolition drive which commenced on Wednesday and continued on Thursday as well. Locals complained that the tourism season would be hit badly in Agonda as tourists have already begun arriving in the state.

The demolition of these structures resulted in massive disappointment among the locals as this demolition has been carried out at the beginning of the tourist season.

These shacks and structures added to the income of the locals as foreigners would patronize these shacks. Many would come in at the beginning of the tourist season and leave only in the summer months which signify the end of the tourist season.

This will mean a massive loss to the locals as well as other businesses dependent on tourism in the area.

Source: TOI | NT 

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